Saturday, February 27, 2010

Domain name and the problem of Cyber squatting

Cyber Squatting is a term used to illustrate a registration with abusive intention or bad faith an IDN which is infringing a registered TM. It happens when a famous TM is registered by a person who is not the owner of the registered TM. Cyber squatter usually may ask for an amount of money to surrender the said IDN. According to the Black’s Law Dictionary, seventh edition, squatter can be defined as a person who settles on property without any legal claim or title. When the case of cyber squatting raised, then how we can trace cyber squatters? There are three main ways to solve this problem, firstly: by using DOMAIN NAME search engine, second is by looking at the Registration for IDN gTLD – make available a search engine for DOMAIN NAME to determine whether or not certain IDN is registered or not, and lastly, WHOIS –give name and registered address for IDN.

In The Princeton Review Management Corp vs. Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Centre, Ltd. (94 Civ.1604 (MGC) (S.D.N.Y, filed March 9, 1994), Stanley H. Kaplan Centre (the centre was a purveyor of courses and material to prepare students for standardize aptitude tests) was not amused by its competitor’s use of [] in connection with a website containing messages disparaging Kaplan’s educational testing services, and praising those of Princeton Review. This was a typical case of cyber squatting and was resolved in favor of Kaplan through arbitration.

How do you determine if there is an instance of cybersquatting? First, the name must be one of a famous person, company, or product. If the domain name takes you to a functional website with subject matter that seems appropriate to the name, cybersquatting is probably not an issue. On the other hand, if the domain name gets a “can’t find server” or “under construction” message or a page appears that has no relationship to the meaning of the domain name, cybersquatting might be an issue (Elias, 2000). However, there is always the possibility of an explanation such as the domain name registrant has not yet developed the site.


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